RICE P. S.; MANT C.; CASON J.; BIBLE J. M.; MUIR P.; KELL B.; BEST J. M.;
Richard Dimbleby Laboratory of Cancer Virology, Department of Infection, Guy’s, King’s College, London, ROYAUME-UNI
St. Thomas’School of Medicine, King’s College London, St. Thomas’Hospital, London, ROYAUME-UNI
Infection with high-risk human papillomaviruses (HPV), is the most significant risk factor for cervical cancer and it may be possible to prevent this malignancy by immunisation. Before immunisation programmes can be designed, however, it is necessary to know the age of acquisition and all routes of infection for these viruses. Sexual transmission is well documented and vertical transmission has also been demonstrated, although the frequency of transmission remains controversial. We previously showed that vertical transmission frequently results in persistent infection, and now present data on the prevalence of HPV-16 DNA (the most prevalent high-risk HPV type) in healthy children. Buccal samples from 267 healthy children aged 3-11 years were tested for HPV DNA by generic PCR (MY09/MY11), and a HPV-16 specific nested PCR. Reverse transcriptase (RT)-PCR was used to determine the prevalence of transcriptionally active HPV-16 infection in a subset of children. HPV-16 DNA was detected by nested PCR in 138 of 267 (51.7%) samples, whereas HPV DNA was detected in only 45 (16.8%) specimens by generic PCR, that has a lower analytical sensitivity. There were no significant differences in prevalence according to age or sex. Early region mRNA was detected by RT-PCR in six (11.3%) of 53 HPV-16 E5 DNA positive samples. HPV-16 E5 DNA sequences from 10 children confirmed the identity of the sequences detected and identified 13 HPV-16 variants.
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